Skip Navigation
The Catalyst

Employees fill bags to support Hollings Cancer patients

By Allison Leggett
Hollings Cancer Center

MUSC epidemiologist Dr. Cassy Salgado sits  amid a pile of dozens of Survivor Support Sacks that will be distributed to cancer patients. photo provided

What started as a small effort to use some leftover containers has turned into a huge outpouring of support for numerous patients at Hollings Cancer Center.  

A cancer survivor and patient of HCC herself, Cassy Salgado, professor of medicine and hospital epidemiologist at MUSC, teamed up last year with Diane Aghapour, the patient support services coordinator for HCC, to fill 50 unused Styrofoam coolers with support items for cancer patients.  

This year the project got a name: the Survivor Support Sack. A bag, with a logo that was created based on feedback from original contributors, has replaced the coolers. The goal this year was to reach more patients, and through the generosity of the MUSC community, the project blossomed into a campuswide effort filling over 250 bags.  

MUSC staff members and providers representing all divisions of medicine, ambulatory clinics, Storm Eye Institute, EPIC, Ryan White HIV/AIDS Clinic, HCC Pharmacy, Ambulatory Pharmacy, Graduate Medical Education, Quality Improvement and Risk Management, East Cooper Infusion, Infection Prevention and Control, as well as countless other individuals, worked to fill bags.  

According to Salgado, the bags can contain items that would be useful to any cancer patient or can be tailored for a specific type of cancer treatment.  Items in the bags include lip balm, tissues, hand sanitizer, unscented lotion, Biotene gum or mouth rinse, hot tea or hot chocolate, lemon drops or hard candy, granola bars, nuts, peanut butter crackers, magazines, puzzle books, water bottles, a fun hat or scarf, or anything that may inspire or encourage. Salgado mentioned that the creativity associated with the contributions was exceptional.

Salgado sent out a request for contributions and was overwhelmed by the support. The Survivor Support Sacks were recently delivered to HCC to be distributed to cancer patients while in treatment over the summer.  

HCC wishes to thank all who contributed and looks forward to seeing where this project can go next year and beyond.

For more information on how to get involved, please contact Allison Leggett at or




July 10, 2014



© 2013  Medical University of South Carolina | Disclaimer